YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Col. Mark Schissler, 374th Airlift Wing Commander, kicked off “American Red Cross Month” at Yokota by reading his signed “proclamation” before a Tuesday night benefit concert at the Officers Club.

“For more than 30 years, the Red Cross at Yokota Air Base has been the place where citizens join together, and the generosity and compassion of the American people finds purpose,” Schissler read. “It’s been the place where someone who may not know you will give you first aid, provide you shelter, save you from drowning or help when verification of an emergency back home is needed.

“Never has this been more evident than in the past few months in the aftermath of the deadly tsunami that struck our neighbors in Asia and Africa,” Schissler read. “The Yokota community responded swiftly and generously, and in overwhelming numbers chose their Red Cross as the place to turn their caring into action.”

Connie Harvey, volunteer co-chair for Yokota’s American Red Cross Month, said via phone interview Wednesday that she appreciated Schissler’s help.

“He’s an awesome supporter of the American Red Cross,” Harvey said.

Last year, according to Schissler’s proclamation, Yokota’s Red Cross briefed 1,395 troops and their family members on how to access services; passed about 560 emergency communications to residents and taught more than 1,200 members lifesaving skills.

This month’s theme, said Harvey, is “Together We Prepare.”

Red Cross volunteers will educate base residents about making an emergency plan by stressing five steps: make a plan; build a kit; get trained; volunteer; and give blood.

“I urge all members of the Yokota community to get prepared, get trained, volunteer and give generously to the local and global causes of the American Red Cross,” Schissler stated. “Together we prepare. Together we can save a life.”

Red Cross Month events at Yokota

Tuesday and March 23: Volunteer Orientation from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (every 2nd and 4th Wednesday) at the American Red Cross Office.

March 11: Adult CPR/Automated External Defibrillator Training from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Taiyo Community Center.

March 11-12: Five Actions for Emergency Preparedness Exhibit and Activity Area from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Yokota Community Center lobby.

March 15: Emergency Supplies Kit Scavenger Hunt from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Yokota Commissary.

March 19: Babysitter’s Training (offered bi-monthly) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Red Cross Office.

March 24-31: Five Actions for Emergency Preparedness Exhibit at the library.

March 30: American Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Yokota Officers Club.

Information provided by Yokota’s American Red Cross Office. Call DSN 225-7522 for more information.

— Stars and Stripes

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